Many have asked me which of the two cameras I prefer and which one I recommend to buy.
For this I have created a summary table containing not all the technical characteristics, which you can find anywhere on the web, but only the differences between the two cameras. These are in fact almost the same camera presented with different outfits and with some differences.
I have had the Nikon Z50 for some time now, while the Z fc for about a month. Fortunately, apart the external appearance, the menus and functions are very similar and I immediately felt very comfortable with the newcomer too.
The main difference between the two is definitely aesthetic. The Z50 is more modern and in line with the other Nikon Z, the brand new Z fc has instead taken the classic analog lines of the Nikon FM2. There is little to say, the Z fc is cool and has a more pleasant appearance than the Z50, but the ergonomics are definitely inferior to the Z50. If we are already used to using other Zs we will have to learn the layout of the keys again. The excellent grip of the Z50 is completely absent and the 40 years of ergonomic improvements (compared to the shapes of the Nikon FM) are felt. For this I will order the additional handle for the Z fc as soon as possible.
The vintage-looking wheels of the Z fc are very nice but honestly not very functional especially in the middle of the action. Fortunately, there are also rings for right index and thumb like all recent Nikons that control shutter speeds and apertures without having to turn the rings on the lens and top of the camera. In this case on Nikon Z fc you have to set the upper time wheel to “1/3 STEP” to use the faster rear wheel. In this way it is used in a more similar way to all modern Nikon.On the other hand, the additional wheel for exposure compensation is convenient on Z fc. On the Z50 you must press the “+/-” button at the same time as the front dial (as in most recent Nikon).
The Z fc lacks an integrated flash, but I honestly rarelycuse these flashes and there is always a connection for the most performing external flashes. I do not doubt that on some occasions, however, an internal flash like on the Z50 can still be useful.Great news on Z fc is also the fully articulated rear display as opposed to that of the Z50 which rotates only on the vertical way. On the one hand it is definitely more versatile but on the other hand it is a bit smaller than that of the Z50, not that much but in practical use the difference is noticeable.The Z fc has also inherited from its bigger sisters like Z6II and Z7II all the new functions, such as focus stacking, live USB charging, extensible times up to 900 seconds, 5 new auto focus modes and several small but useful updates. For all of these I have created the table below.
In summary, if I had to choose one of the two, which one would I take? The answer depends on how I should use the camera. Do I go street and/or do I want a cool camera with customizable colors? Z fc. Do I take action and is ergonomics essential? Z50. One of the novelties that most attracted me to the Z fc compared to the Z50 is the automatic focus stacking, a technique that I use very often and which I miss a lot on the Z50. On the other hand, I miss the two programmable buttons fn1 and fn2 of the Z50 which on Z fc is only one. I also miss the very convenient quick user settings 1 and 2 on the Z50, where I quickly recall the camera settings for cutlery or action photos. These are unfortunately absent on Z fc.
Another difference is also the slightly higher price for the new Z fc.In short, the answers are many and there is no absolute winner between the two.
In any case, I hope I have made you a bit clear in the possible choice of one of these two Nikon mirrorless APSC cameras.For one of the many field tests I took the Nikon Z fc to the abandoned town of Lavacchielli in the province of Parma, Italy. All the images were taken with the Laowa 9mm f/5.6 and I used a bracketing of 3 shots. I used the lightweight BA225 tripod from K&F Concept. In post production I used JPGs as the codecs to open RAWs are not yet available.